Dysfunction in Sensory Integration

Dysfunction in Sensory Integration

Hamad is only 9 years old and in the third grade, but simply getting to school is a challenge for him, just like other everyday activities we may not think twice about. Earlier that morning, Hamad faced a battle with his nanny over brushing his teeth – the peppermint toothpaste was too much to bear! As he waits for the bus, Hamad becomes even more aware of his new school uniform with its stiff label and creases poking into his skin. Hamad is becoming agitated. Once he’s finally on the bus, the sensory experiences aggravate him even more, from the bus’s movement to the sound of his excited classmates yelling, laughing, and talking. Not to mention the roar of the bus engine that’s created a loud ringing in his ears. As the bus approaches school, the driver assistant gets ready to direct the students off the bus; “single line, kids!”. But Hamad couldn’t bear another minute – he resorts to pushing, shoving, and finally kicking his way out. This, in turn, leads Hamad to yet another trip to the principal’s office.

Hamad is unable to discriminate the sensory information from the environment. Therefore, his movements are uncoordinated, unsequenced, and ill-timed. Hamad has a Dysfunction in Sensory Integration (DSI), which is a Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD.

SPD is a “neurological disorder in which the sensory information that the individual perceives results in abnormal responses.” Mind Institute is specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of SPD.

Nasser does not feel good about himself. He is unable to follow instructions from his gym teacher and has given up playing basketball, which he loves. Nasser keeps missing the shots and always causes his team to lose. In class, he finds it difficult to hold the pencil correctly, which makes his handwriting illegible. Nasser keeps bumping into people without meaning to, and always drops things on his way to class. His classmates call him clumsy, forgetful, and messy. Nasser hates going to lunch because of all the noise and commotion in the lunchroom. Earlier today, he was yield by his math teacher as he could not stay on task. Nasser can not keep up with his teachers’ instructions as he always hears the echo of his peers in the hallway. Nasser also worries about the ticking clock in the classroom because he feels he is running against time. The one thing that gives him relief is chewing on the end of the pencil and humming. Nasser tries hard to cover up his difficulties. He seems unable to do simple tasks that other children do naturally.

Nasser has a problem with adjusting to the circumstances and keeping the ability to complete the task. Sensory modulation is the “capacity to regulate and organize the degree, intensity, and nature of responses to sensory input in a graded and adaptive manner” (Miller & Lane, 2000). Mind Institute’s specialized therapist can help with identifying and treating sensory modulation.

How is Dysfunction in Sensory Integration determined?

A licensed therapist with advanced training in sensory integration can evaluate if you or your child has DSI through the following:

  • Collecting data from the daily life tasks; school, home or work.
  • Creating an environment with different sensory spaces, observe and evaluate the child’s response.
  • Complete a Sensory Profile questionnaire.
  • Interview parents and caregiver to better understand how the child processes his/her sensory input in various settings and environment.
  • Standardized test Sensory Integration and Praxis Test Battery (SIPT).

How can we help?

The way we process sensory information affects our everyday lives.

Mind Institute offers Sensory Integration (SI) Therapy, which aims to help children or adults manage their difficulties with sensory processing and sensory modulation. When sensory processing does not develop as efficiently as it should, it can affect activities of daily living, academic achievement, behavior, and social participation. Developed by Jean Ayres, Sensory Integration helps children and young people develop their sensory processing abilities and skills. Sensory Integration Therapy can improve difficulties linked to sensitivity, regulation, play, behavior, and learning.

At Mind Institute, our Sensory Integration therapists change how the brain reacts to different stimulation. Our therapy techniques allow children to understand better their sense of touch, smell, taste, sight, movement, hearing, body awareness, and pull of gravity. Our licensed therapists are highly skilled and experienced with this form of intervention. Based on our evaluation results, we develop a personalized treatment program in which we use the most appropriate techniques and tools to overcome identified difficulties. Before therapy commences, we will provide targeted outcomes and objectives, which will be reviewed regularly.

Our Sensory Intervention (SI) Therapy and intervention will help your child:
  • Self-Regulate.
  • Better understand sensory needs.
  • Improve performance in school, home, and community.
  • Improve independence and daily living skills.
  • Enhances concentration.
  • Improve balance and motor skills.
  • Improve social ability and confidence.
  • Improve sleep hygiene.
  • Language Development.
  • Develop positive behavior patterns.

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